The Northwest Passage, in the Wake of Roald Amundsen – 2024

The Northwest Passage, in the Wake of Roald Amundsen – 2024

From AUD $39,960


PONANT takes you to the boundaries of the Far North during an exceptional trip in the wake of the legendary explorer Roald Amundsen. Sail the mythical Northwest Passage, a historic and famous shipping route, which winds its way among the labyrinthine channels of the northernmost world. Spend 23 days marvelling at the beauty of these remote regions where Inuit villages appear amidst the landscapes of the Arctic.

Greenland, and its traditional colourful houses, is the first port of call on your long adventure . You will sail along the west coast of this immense island with its hypnotic panoramas, between mineral landscapes and immaculate expanses, where the interplay between the contrasts seems endless. Monumental icebergs criss-cross the Labrador Sea with you, to travel towards Baffin Bay.

Set sail to Northern Canada and the entrance of the Northwest Passage. Amundsen was the first to pave the way on this northern route between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, which long remained just a theory for navigators and scientists. In Gjoa Haven, discover the wintering site of the expedition he undertook between 1903 and 1906. Like him, get to know the Inuit people who perpetuate their ancestral traditions in the heart of grandiose nature. On Beechey Island, retrace the steps of the Franklin expedition, before marvelling at the sublime canyon at Fury Beach.

Throughout your trip, you will enter majestic fjords and sail at the edge of the ice floes, in the hope of glimpsing the polar bear, the lord of the Far North. After Bellot Strait, the narrow passage of Coningham Bay will provide the perfect spot for an encounter with remarkable beluga whales. Try to spot bowhead whales in the Beaufort Sea; as for grey whales, these occupy the waters of the Bering Strait before they migrate towards the south of the continent. An exceptional journey taking in the emblematic fauna of the Far North, dreamlike landscapes and unforgettable encounters with the people of the North.

Trip Name
The Northwest Passage, in the Wake of Roald Amundsen - 2024
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship Length: 142 meters Passenger Capacity: 264 (in twin cabins, 200 in Antarctica) Built: 2011 A superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins, she is the fruit of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. Le Boreal remains faithful to our philosophy - to create a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being. Superior materials, discreet elegance and a tasteful décor combined with exterior and interior lines to reflect a nautical mood, subtly revisited. On board, soothing neutral tones are enlivened by splashes of red, our signature theme linking tradition and innovation to create personal touches in the spirit of a “private yacht”. Cuisine Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark. Our two restaurants welcome you for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. The Gastronomic Restaurant, with a capacity of 268 persons, is situated on Le Liberte Deck and serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. On the Grill Restaurant, you will have the opportuniny to eat outside and enjoy buffet lunch and themed dinner. Life On Board Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or games area (Wii™ consoles, etc), or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, Le Boreal has been designed to meet the needs of every guest.  Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, a spa in partnership with Carita™, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Comfortable cabins, nearly all with private balcony, are available forfamilies either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting ser vice.Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please. Fitted with the latest equipment (Kinesis Wall, running machine) and in partnership with the famous Carita™ brand, the Beauty Centre on Le Boreal welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering (beauty treatments, hairdresser, hammam, balneotherapy).


Day 1 - Day 1 Embarkation day - Paris/Kangerlussuaq
Flight Paris/Kangerlussuaq selected by PONANT.Approximate flight duration: 5 hWe suggest you to be at the check-in counter 2 hours before departure.We highly recommend you arrive in Paris the day before this flight.Meet & greet at the airport by our local English-speaking representative.Transfer to the pier for embarkation.From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travellers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a few dozen kilometres from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colours, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons and eagles live.
Day 2 - Day 2 SISIMIUT
During your cruise, we invite you to discover Sisimiut, founded in 1756 and the second largest town in Greenland. This small town is typical of Greenland, boasting bewitching panoramas: here and there, colourful stilt houses dot the undulating landscape, and the small fishing port stands as the gateway to an icy realm. As for the town centre, it is home to a number of historic buildings, a small church and a museum which retraces the history of the Inuit people, as well as many craft shops. When your ship drops anchor here, you will set out to meet the locals in a typically arctic atmosphere.
Day 3 - Day 3 DISKO BAY
To the east of Baffin Bay, discover Disko Bay, scattered with countless icebergs produced by the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From your ship, admire the majestic ballet of these ice giants as they slowly drift across the dark waters. This site is a natural marvel of Greenland, and is also renowned as an observation point for the region’s many humpback whales. The encounters with wild fauna and stunning landscapes in the heart of this spectacular and fragile nature will be pure moments of wonder for you.
"The most beautiful place in the Arctic" is how Paul-Émile Victor described Greenland, a land of great icebergs and of towering ice formations calved by the giant glaciers of the polar ice cap. The Eqi Glacier is one of the region’s most impressive sights. Here, the silence is broken only by the roaring and cracking of the ice. It is impossible to know if one is shivering from cold or from the sheer thrill of being here... Imagine the vast outline of a glacier, its translucent crystals glowing with an ice-blue fire in the sunlight. Paul-Émile Victor’s shelter cannot be overlooked; it was from here that the French Polar Expeditions’ anthropological and geographic explorations set off in the 1950s.
Day 5 - Day 5 AKULLEQ
In the curve of Uummannaq Bay, opposite a narrow passage between two islands, you will discover the moonscape of the small desert island of Akulleq. The ochre yellow and orange of this mineral site look ablaze under the sunshine of the polar summer. From the island’s summit you will be able to contemplate a panoramic view of the bay’s magical landscape and its huge icebergs with surprising shapes.
Day 6 - Day 6 KULLORSUAQ
Well beyond the Arctic Circle, in the majestic landscapes of Greenland’s Northwest, you will find the village of Kullorsuaq, the last bastion of Greenland’s traditional hunters. Here is where you will find Greenland’s true character… Vast mineral expanses, sumptuous mountains, impressive glaciers and, above all, the local population which still lives off fishing and seal or bear hunting. Hospitality and respect for nature are essential elements in the daily lives of these men, who live an austere life. When we drop anchor in this remote part of the world, set off to discover these friendly people who are also talented craftsmen, deftly sewing the furs and skins of marine mammals. This will be a unique and authentic experience.
Day 7 - Day 7 SAVISSIVIK
Some places in this world are so magical that their beauty cannot be described in words… Savissivik, a small Inuit village with less than a hundred inhabitants, is one such place. Rightly considered to be the biggest iceberg graveyard in Greenland, it is a stunning sight to behold. During your zodiac outing, you will sail between these icy giants. Once on land, you can hike to a viewpoint from which to enjoy breathtaking views over these icebergs, which come in an incredibly diverse range of shapes and colours. Photographers will love it. Savissivik Bay attracts many bears and is also known for having been the home of one of the world’s biggest meteorites, but the latter has now been moved to a museum in New York.
On Baffin Island, located in northern Canada at the mouth of the famous NorthWest Passage, there is a small Inuit settlement at the very bounds of infinity. To get there, cross the Arctic Circle, the imaginary line that separates man from lands of mystery and wonder. It’s not so much the way of life that sets Pond Inlet’s inhabitants apart, so much as the setting. Snow-capped mountains, fjords and glaciers combine in a dazzling natural environment that fills space and expands time. Some discoveries change you forever: this is one of them.
Beechey Island, at the eastern end of Resolute Bay, will call to mind some of the most important moments of Franklin’s expedition. Sir John set off in 1845 in search of the mythical Northwest Passage and was forced to take shelter in Erebus Harbour for two long years, while he waited for the ice floes to recede and allow him a way through. It is a spectacular location; seeing the three wooden grave markers, bleached by the sun (indicating the burial places of at least three of Captain Franklin’s men) and visiting the memorial that has been erected in memory of Franklin and his men can only reinforce the hushed sense of reverence. If the surrounding wilderness impresses us, the ochre and yellows of the rocky desert soften the landscape.
The ice floe gradually appears as you approach Somerset Island, in the heart of the North West Passage. In a zodiac dinghy, you will land on Fury Beach, a place with a rich history where the English explorer William Edward Parry ran aground in 1825. He left materials and supplies here in order to help the next expeditions that would pass by this site. During your hike around the majestic canyon of Fury Beach, you’ll be dazzled by the surprising landscape: the turquoise green water and sheer cliffs are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon or the High Atlas in Morocco. If fortune smiles on you, you will perhaps come across a family of polar bears roaming the enormous ice floes. A sublime hike; a sense of wonder is guaranteed.
Discover Fort Ross, the last trading post established by the Hudson's Bay Company. Constructed in 1937, it was used as a fur and whaling trading post at the same time. Fort Ross, located on a small island at the entrance to the Bellot Strait, is still home to this former store as well as the house for the manager and staff. The interior of these two buildings has been damaged over time and by the presence of polar bears. After a short walk towards the summits of the island, you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view over the Bellot Strait and surrounding area.A key stage in the North West Passage, the Bellot Strait, crossed by strong currents, promises you an unforgettable sailing experience. The entrance to the strait is dominated by the Ross Cairn. The buildings of Fort Ross also stand not far from here. Separating Somerset Island from the Boothia Peninsula, this 2-km-wide strait was discovered in 1852 by Captain William Kennedy of the Royal Navy, and the Frenchman Joseph-René Bellot, during an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin. Discover a magnificent décor covered in snow, fragmented by large ice floes. As you sail between them, your ship will perhaps be accompanied by a few polar bears.At the heart of the legendary Northwest Passage, discover the sheltered Coningham Bay in the south-east of Prince of Wales Island. The surrounding waters, rich in nutrients brought in by the tides and currents, are home to cetaceans including beluga whales. The polar bear, lord of the Arctic, has also established its realm on this hunting ground where food tends to be abundant. When conditions are favourable, extraordinary encounters with the wildlife are possible in these isolated lands.
Discovered by the Scottish explorer John Ross in 1830, King William Island was named in honour of the reigning British King. In September 1903, Captain Roald Amundsen was the first to drop anchor at Gjoa Haven, the only inhabited part of the island, where a few Inuit were the only sign of human life. The Norwegian sailor decided to overwinter here for two years, to attempt to find the location of the mysterious Magnetic North Pole. Roald Amundsen interacted with the local Inuit to learn how to survive in these extreme conditions and freezing temperatures. We invite you to discover this small hamlet in the Nunavut region, located just above the Arctic Circle. Do not miss this unique opportunity to discover these forgotten lands.
Day 13 - Day 13 AT SEA
During your journey at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This journey without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, depending on the activities offered, or to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Fall under the charm of small and uninhabited Edinburgh Island, in Nunavut. Blueberries, crowberries, arctic willow, cranberries: vegetation rules the roost here, with no fewer than 19 types of dwarf shrubs, berries and flowers identified. In autumn, these species are adorned with shimmering colours that produce a magnificent picture. The tundra, dotted with red and yellow touches, competes in its beauty with the superb ochres of the sandy beaches and the dark tones of the surrounding cliffs. At the end of a walk towards the heights of the island, enjoy a superb panorama with a view over lakes, sea and basalt mountains. An enchanting place, frequented by caribous, peregrine falcons, reindeer, Arctic foxes and hares.
Set off to meet the inhabitants of Holman for an unforgettable moment in the midst of a welcoming community. With some 500 inhabitants, this hamlet located on the west of Victoria Island has learned how best to adapt to an at-times harsh environment and a difficult climate. As you visit this village in the Canadian Far North, admire the prints and other objects created by the very rich local craftsmanship. Traditional singing and dancing are also part of the daily life of this commune, to the great delight of fans of Inuit culture. The village of Holman, also called Ulukhaktok, is one of those places in which you can share an authentic experience in a remote land.
Day 16 - Day 16 JESSE HARBOUR
In the glacial waters of the Beaufort Sea, on the eastern shores of Banks Island, Jesse Harbour is thought of as the end of the world, beyond the 72nd parallel north. The island is known for its large population of musk oxen, these behemoths covered in thick fur, perfectly adapted to the harsh Arctic climate. In these distant polar lands, the changing weather imposes its will. Conditions permitting, an outing and various hikes will provide an opportunity to get as close as possible to the abundant fauna that inhabits the ice floe and this far-flung world.
Day 17 - Day 17 SMOKING HILLS
In the far north of the Northwest Territories, nestling at the junction of the Amundsen Gulf, the Smoking Hill astonish, intrigue and captivate. Considered one of the most fascinating and mysterious phenomena on the planet, this geological paradise, where dozens of kilometres of smoke columns emanate from impressive cliffs coloured in ochre and crimson, will take you on a timeless journey. Spotted for the first time by the British navigator John Franklin during an exploration of the region in 1926, these smoking strata of hydrocarbons result from the chemical reaction between the oil shales and the lignite deposits, a mix of clay shale and pyrite that spontaneously ignites on contact with air, causing this unique natural phenomenon.
Delimited by the entrance to the Northwest Passage and the Amundsen Gulf to the east and by Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories to the west, the Beaufort Sea makes up part of the – almost – inaccessible Arctic Ocean. Due to its extreme weather conditions, it was not explored until 1914, by the Canadian explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson. However, it was named after Francis Beaufort, a British admiral and hydrographer. You will sail on these remote waters strewn with a mosaic of ice resulting from sea-ice breakup. Surrounded by this stunning scenery, you may spot a few belugas and bowhead whales, established in colonies in the region.
Day 19 - Day 19 KING POINT, YUKON
On the edge of the Beaufort Sea, on the northeastern side of the Yukon, one of the three territories in the far north of Canada, you will sail near King Point. It was off its rocky coast edged with tundra that Roald Amundsen anchored with other whalers after crossing the legendary Northwest Passage aboard the Gjöa, and wintered from August 1905 to March 1906. One of his crewmen, Gustav Juel Wiik, a young engineer who died of respiratory problems, is buried inside the King Point magnetic observatory. If conditions are favourable, guests could enjoy exceptional encounters with an abundance of wildlife common in the area, including polar bears.
Day 20 - Days 20 - 21 SAILING IN BEAUFORT SEA
Delimited by the entrance to the Northwest Passage and the Amundsen Gulf to the east and by Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories to the west, the Beaufort Sea makes up part of the – almost – inaccessible Arctic Ocean. Due to its extreme weather conditions, it was not explored until 1914, by the Canadian explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson. However, it was named after Francis Beaufort, a British admiral and hydrographer. You will sail on these remote waters strewn with a mosaic of ice resulting from sea-ice breakup. Surrounded by this stunning scenery, you may spot a few belugas and bowhead whales, established in colonies in the region.
Situated in the Bering Sea, King Island was discovered in 1778. It is named after James King, a crew member of the expedition led by James Cook. King Island was inhabited by a group of Inupiat until the mid-20th century; their now-abandoned village was called Ukivok. You will enjoy sailing around this island with its sheer cliffs that shelter many bird species, such as tufted and horned puffins, black-legged kittiwakes, and thick-billed murres.
Day 22 - Day 23 Disembarkation Day - Nome/Seattle
DisembarkationMeet and greet at the port by our local English-speaking representative.Transfer to the airport in time for check-in of flight Nome/Seattle selected by PONANT.Flight Nome/Seattle selected by PONANT.Approximate flight duration: 5 hWe highly recommend you stay one night in Seattle after this flight.Located along the Bering Strait at the westernmost point of Alaska, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly coloured houses, you will discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sledge-racing... People here live from their manual labour. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.
Day 23 - Please note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
28-08-202419-09-2024AUD $39,960Superior Stateroom
28-08-202419-09-2024AUD $43,110DeLuxe Stateroom
28-08-202419-09-2024AUD $47,640Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
28-08-202419-09-2024AUD $49,900Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
28-08-202419-09-2024AUD $52,620Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
28-08-202419-09-2024AUD $72,500Deluxe Suite
28-08-202419-09-2024AUD $97,350Prestige Suite - Deck 5
28-08-202419-09-2024AUD $102,330Prestige Suite - Deck 6
28-08-202419-09-2024AUD $117,240Owner’s Suite


    • The crossing of the Northwest Passage, a labyrinthine shipping route at the boundaries of the Far North, in the wake of the legendary explorer Roald Amundsen.
    • Outings and shore visits in zodiac inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • The possibility of meeting the Greenlandic and Canadian Inuit people to share a unique moment in Holman and Gjoa Haven.
    • In the footsteps of the great polar explorers, the discovery of Amundsen’s wintering site in Gjoa Haven, right near the mythical shipwrecks of John Franklin’s HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.
    • In Fort Ross, discovering the remains of a former whaling
    • and fur-trading post.
    • The discovery of the western coast of Greenland, bathed by Baffin Bay, and its traditional villages surrounded by icebergs, glaciers, tundra and sumptuous mountains.
    • Disko Bay, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see the Northern Hemisphere’s largest icebergs.
    • Landscapes: ice pack, myriads of jagged islands, fjords, glaciers, mountain chains, monumental icebergs as you travel towards Greenland.
    • Wildlife: Arctic foxes, sea birds, belugas, narwhals, bowhead whales, humpback whales, muskox, walruses and the possibility of seeing polar bears.